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2 The AHECC is based on the 6–digit items of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (Harmonized System or HS). The HS is a broad classification system of approximately 5,000 6–digit headings which are used to classify internationally traded goods as they enter or leave a country. It was developed and is maintained by the World Customs Organization (WCO). First introduced on 1 January 1988, it has been adopted by most trading nations, including Australia. It enables information on traded goods to be compared internationally.
3 Australia expands the international HS to produce two different classifications for imports and exports. These classifications are the Combined Australian Customs Tariff Nomenclature and Statistical Classification (referred to as the Customs Tariff or simply the Tariff) and the Australian Harmonized Export Commodity Classification (referred to as the AHECC).
4 In relation to the AHECC, the ABS expands each 6–digit HS code by adding an additional 2–digit statistical code in order to provide a finer level of detail. An AHECC code for exports therefore comprises eight digits.
5 The international HS is subject to ongoing review by the WCO to ensure it:
6 Major changes to the international HS are implemented every four or five years. The first set of major changes was made on 1 January 1992 and impacted almost exclusively on the Explanatory Notes used to interpret the HS. Subsequently, major changes to the HS were implemented on 1 July 1996, 1 January 2002 and 1 January 2007. This version includes HS updates to be implemented on 1 January 2012.
7 In addition to incorporating amendments to the Harmonized System, changes to the statistical items are introduced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) for a variety of reasons. These reasons may include the rationalisation of units of quantity; the creation of more meaningful descriptors for existing statistical items; the creation of additional codes to accommodate changes in technology and user requests; or the amalgamation of codes which are recording minimal volumes of trade.
GENERAL RULES FOR THE INTERPRETATION OF THE HARMONIZED SYSTEM
8 Rules for classification of goods in the Harmonized System are prescribed in Schedule 2 of the Customs Tariff. These rules are applicable to the AHECC and are reproduced below.
(b) any reference in a heading to a material or substance shall be taken to include a reference to mixtures or combinations of that material or substance with other materials or substances. Any reference to goods of a given material or substance shall be taken to include a reference to goods consisting wholly or partly of such material or substance. The classification of goods consisting of more than one material or substance shall be according to the principles of Rule 3.
3. When by application of Rule 2 (b) or for any other reason, goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, classification should be effected as follows:
(a) the Heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to Headings providing a more general description. However, when two or more Headings each refer to part only of the materials or substances contained in mixed or composite goods or to part only of the items in a set put up for retail sale, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to those goods, even if one of them gives a more complete or precise description of the goods.
(b) mixtures composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3 (a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, in so far as this criterion is applicable.
(c) when goods cannot be classified by reference to 3 (a) or 3 (b), they shall be classified under the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration.
4. Goods which cannot be classified in accordance with the above Rules should be classified under the heading appropriate to the goods to which they are most akin.
5. In addition to the foregoing provisions, the following Rules should apply in respect of the goods referred to therein:
(a) camera cases, musical instrument cases, gun cases, drawing instrument cases, necklace cases and similar containers, specially shaped or fitted to contain a specific article or set of articles, suitable for long–term use and presented with the articles for which they are intended, shall be classified with such articles when of a kind normally sold therewith. The Rule does not, however, apply to containers which give the whole its essential character.
(b) subject to the provisions of Rule 5 (a) above, packing materials and packing containers presented with the goods therein shall be classified with the goods if they are of a kind normally used for packing such goods. However, this provision is not binding when such packing materials or packing containers are clearly suitable for repetitive use.
6. For legal purposes, the classification of goods in the subheadings of a heading should be determined according to the terms of those subheadings and any related Subheading Notes and, mutatis mutandis, to the above Rules, on the understanding that only subheadings at the same level are comparable. For the purposes of the Rule the relative Section and Chapter Notes also apply, unless the context otherwise requires.
CLASSIFYING GOODS TO THE AHECC
9 Goods are classified according to the general rules for the interpretation of the Harmonized System, as presented in General Rules for the Interpretation of the Harmonized System (paragraph 8). The following notes are provided to assist in understanding the HS classification and in determining the correct AHECC items to be used in making Customs and Border Protection export declarations. They are not exhaustive but try to cover the most important aspects of the classification of goods.
10 The AHECC has a structure comprising four levels, namely, sections, chapters, headings and sub–headings. At the section level, the main purpose is to provide a limited number of categories which will provide a broad picture of the goods being internationally traded. The chapter (2–digit level), heading (4–digit level) and sub–headings (6–digit level) provide increasingly detailed dissections of the broad categories.
11 Sections 1 to 15 classify raw materials including manufactures classified by material. Sections 16 to 21 classify manufactures not classified by material.
12 Goods obtained from the same material are generally grouped together and are arranged progressively from the raw material or less manufactured product through to the finished or more highly manufactured product.
13 Certain categories of exports, for example, goods re–exported after being imported for industrial processing and some ships and aircraft stores, are not classified in the normal manner and are included in either Chapter 98 or 99. For further details refer to Chapters 98 and 99 of the AHECC (paragraphs 19 to 23).
14 The following general principles should be followed when classifying goods:
15 The following points should also be borne in mind when classifying goods:
16 For further details refer to General Rules for the Interpretation of the Harmonized System (paragraph 8).
CLASSIFICATION OF PARTS
17 When classifying parts it is important to consider:
18 If you require assistance in classifying goods for export contact the AHECC Advisory Service within Customs and Border Protection on 1300 363 263. Further contact information is outlined in the Contact Officers section.
CHAPTERS 98 AND 99 OF THE AHECC
19 The content of Chapters 1 to 97 of the AHECC is defined in the Harmonized System, but the ABS has included two additional Chapters in which goods are not classified on a commodity basis.
CHAPTER 98 Special transactions and commodities not classified according to kind
20 This chapter includes:
21 Questions about the use of 9809.00.01 should be directed to the Classification Manager, telephone (02) 6252 5409. All other exports with values of $5,000 or more per commodity (including ships' or aircraft stores in bond and subject to excise or customs duty) should be recorded under their substantive AHECC items.
CHAPTER 99 Commodities and transactions not included in merchandise trade
22 This chapter includes goods that the United Nations defines as being outside the scope of merchandise trade statistics. Goods recorded in this chapter are known as non–merchandise trade and are not included in Australia's international merchandise export statistics.
23 Non–merchandise trade includes:
INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMPLETING AN EXPORT DECLARATION
24 The reporting of export details to Customs and Border Protection may be done:
25 Exporters must report all export details prior to the goods being loaded on board the ship or aircraft transporting them out of Australia.
26 For assistance completing an export declaration please contact the Customs Information and Support Centre on 1300 363 263.
EVIDENCE OF IDENTITY
27 If the export declaration is made by document, then evidence of identity must be provided before the form can be accepted.
28 The evidence of identity check must be completed at a Customs and Border Protection counter or comply with the Customs Evidence of Identity for Documentary (Paper) Transactions policy.
29 A documentary export declaration will not generally be accepted by Customs and Border Protection except when received at a Customs and Border Protection counter.
30 Export declarations require an identifier for both the reporting party (Reporting Party ID) and the owner of the goods (Goods Owner Party ID). These IDs will be either an Australian Business Number (ABN) or a Customs Client Identifier (CCID). The CCID is issued by Customs and Border Protection for those clients who do not have an ABN. The following clients will need to be registered with Customs and Border Protection before an export declaration can be lodged:
31 The following classes of goods are exempt from export declaration requirements, unless there is any permit required by Customs and Border Protection or other permit issuing authority prior to export:
2. goods included in a consignment that is consigned by post, by ship or by aircraft from one person to another person, and that has a value not exceeding the threshold (currently $2,000).
This exemption does not apply to goods that are:
(a) dutiable goods where the duty is unpaid;
(b) excisable goods where the excise is unpaid; or
(c) goods for which a claim for drawback of customs duty, excise duty, or Goods and Services Tax (GST) is intended;
3. military goods which are the property of:
(b) Foreign Defence Forces – military goods which are for use in military exercises approved by the Australian Government and which have not been entered in an import entry;
4. bags of mail (Australia Post or diplomatic);
5. goods originating in one Australian port or airport moved on an international vessel or aircraft to another Australian port or airport without the intention to export;
6. goods temporarily imported using a carnet;
7. ship and aircraft spares for use only on an Australian owned vessel or aircraft; and
8. containers or pallets that are the property of a person carrying on a business in Australia and which are exported on a temporary basis to be re–imported, whether they are empty or loaded.
AGGREGATION OF LINES
32 Where all the details of a group of transactions within the consignment, other than quantity, value and gross weight, are identical, the transactions may be aggregated to a single line.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMPLETING A DOCUMENTARY EXPORT DECLARATION (B957)
33 The following instructions are for the documentary export declaration (B957), but the information also applies to declarations lodged electronically using Electronic Data Interchange or Customs Interactive. Commercial software packages may use different labels for some fields, and the layout of the fields is likely to vary.
34 Each of the following instructions relates to a field on the export declaration. The numbers shown beside the export declaration fields as shown below do not necessarily relate to the item numbers of the fields on an export declaration. Copies of the documentary export declaration forms are included at the end of this Section.
Customs and Border Protection use. Leave blank for an original lodgement. If the declaration amends an earlier lodgement, then the Customs File Reference allocated by Customs and Border Protection may be shown here.
2. REPORTING PARTY TYPE (MANDATORY)
Whether the export declaration is made by the “owner” (including an employee of the owner) or by an authorised “agent” on behalf of the owner.
3. YOUR REFERENCE (MANDATORY)
Your reference (assigned by the person lodging the export declaration) must be unique and is used for both your files and to differentiate between consignments. For EXDOC clients, the EXDOC RFP number is automatically placed in this field in the ICS declaration.
4. REPORTING PARTY ID (MANDATORY)
The Customs and Border Protection identifier of the reporting party. The identifier must be either the Australian Business Number (ABN) or Customs Client Identifier (CCID).
5. INTENDED DATE OF EXPORT (MANDATORY)
The date on which the consignment is intended to be exported, expressed as DD/MM/YYYY.
6. UNIQUE CONSIGNMENT REFERENCE NO
This is the exporter’s (Goods owner) unique reference.
If a contingency EDN (C–EDN) has been used as authority to export goods, the C–EDN must be shown here when the recovered export declaration is lodged.
7. CUSTOMABLE/EXCISABLE INDICATOR (MANDATORY)
Customable/excisable Goods are goods which would be subject to customs or excise duty if they were to be delivered into home consumption rather than being exported. If the goods are customable/excisable, show “Y” in this field and show the establishment code of the warehouse from which the goods are to be removed in the Warehouse Establishment ID field. If goods are not customable/excisable goods show “N” in this field and leave the Warehouse Establishment ID field blank.
8. PRESCRIBED GOODS INDICATOR
Show “Y” if the consignment includes goods that are prescribed warehouse goods under sections 99 and 102A of the Customs Act 1901, that is, listed in Schedule 1AAA of the Customs Regulations 1926. If the consignment includes prescribed warehouse goods, then the establishment code of warehouse must be identified in the Warehouse Establishment ID field.
A list of AHECC codes for prescribed warehouse goods is shown at Schedule 1AAA of the Customs Regulations 1926 – "Prescribed Warehouse Goods".
If the goods are not prescribed warehouse goods, indicate “N” whether or not there is unpaid customs or excise duty payable on the goods.
9. WAREHOUSE ESTABLISHMENT ID (MANDATORY IF CUSTOMABLE/EXCISABLE INDICATOR IS "YES")
The establishment code of the warehouse from which the goods are to be removed for export.
The establishment code should be shown for all dutiable or excisable goods, whether or not the goods are prescribed warehouse goods.
10. GOODS OWNER PARTY ID (MANDATORY)
The Customs identifier of the common law owner of the goods. The identifier must be either the ABN or CCID under which the owner is registered.
If the export declaration is made by an agent on behalf of the owner, the ABN or CCID for this item cannot be the same as the Reporting Party ID.
11. BRANCH ID
An identifier, registered by Customs and Border Protection, that is linked to the Goods Owner Party ID, used to further identify the party within that organisation.
12. CONFIRMING EXPORTER TYPE (MANDATORY)
A code indicating whether the exporter has confirming export status and proposes to rely on that status in relation to goods in this declaration.
13. EXPORTS GOODS TYPE (MANDATORY)
Indicate the type of export goods.
14. CONSIGNEE NAME (MANDATORY)
The full name of the person or organisation taking physical possession of the goods. This should be the principal, not a bank, freight forwarder, etc.
15. CONSIGNEE CITY (MANDATORY)
The city or town in which the person or organisation who takes physical possession of the goods is located.
16. PORT OF LOADING (MANDATORY)
The Location Codes that are issued by the UN (UN/LOCODE) to identify a particular port in a country. In the ICS, the UN/LOCODE contains 5 characters, which consists of a two character country code (i.e. AU = Australia) and a three character port code (i.e. SYD = Sydney). These codes are not the same as the International Air Transport Authority (IATA) codes. The list of UN/LOCODEs can be found via the Internet from the Customs and Border Protection website or electronically in the ICS.
17. FIRST PORT OF DISCHARGE (MANDATORY)
The UN/LOCODE of the first port of discharge overseas. This may not necessarily be the final destination of the goods.
If transhipment is to occur, this will be the first port or airport of discharge. For example, for goods exported to Kuwait via Singapore, the port of discharge will appear as "SGSIN" but the Country of Final Destination will appear as "KW".
18. FINAL DESTINATION COUNTRY CODE (MANDATORY)
The ISO3166/1 two–letter code for the country that is to be the final destination of the goods. Refer to AHECC Summary of Classification, Codes and Abbreviations, 1.5 Countries. This is the code for the country of final destination of the goods at the time of shipment. Do not enter the code for the Country where the goods are to be discharged for subsequent shipment to the country of final destination. For example, goods exported to Kuwait via Singapore should appear as "KW" not "SG".
19. MODE OF TRANSPORT (MANDATORY UNLESS GOODS ARE TO BE EXPORTED BY AUSTRALIA POST)
Indicate whether the consignment is to be exported by “Sea” or “Air”.
20. VESSEL ID/FLIGHT NO (MANDATORY IF GOODS ARE STORES, SPARES OR ACCOMPANIED BAGGAGE)
The Lloyd’s identity number, aircraft’s flight number, or Customs identifier.
21. VOYAGE NO (MANDATORY IF A VESSEL ID IS REQUIRED)
A unique voyage number of the ship carrying the stores, spares or accompanied baggage.
22. CARGO TYPE
Indicate the type of cargo.
23. TOTAL NO. PACKAGES
Mandatory if the goods are to be exported by air OR if the goods are to be exported by sea and the Cargo Type is non–containerised or combination.
24. TOTAL NO. CONTAINERS
Mandatory if the Cargo Type is containerised or combination.
“Containers” refers to shipping containers.
25. INVOICE CURRENCY (MANDATORY)
The currency used on the invoice needs to be entered here. For the codes that should be used, refer to the Invoice Currency codes defined in the Reference Files in ICS.
26. FOB CURRENCY (MANDATORY)
If the invoice currency is listed in AHECC Summary of Classification, Codes and Abbreviations, 1.4 FOB Currency Codes, then the FOB must be reported here in this currency. If not, then AUD should be reported.
27. TOTAL FOB VALUE (MANDATORY)
The total free on board (FOB) value must be expressed in the currency specified in the FOB currency field. The total FOB value is the transaction value of the goods plus, if applicable, the value of the outside packaging (other than the shipping containers used for containerised cargo) and related costs incidental to the sale, delivery and loading of the goods on to the exporting ship or aircraft. The FOB values of samples must be shown as the market value of the goods as if they were for sale.
The FOB value should be expressed to the nearest dollar. It should be noted that the export FOB value does not include overseas freight and insurance.
The Customs and Border Protection Incoterms – Quick Reference Guide may assist in calculating FOB value.
28A. LINE NO. (MANDATORY)
A supplementary page must be completed for each separate commodity as identified by the AHECC code, refer to Item 28. Commodity Classification.
The B957a supplementary page should also be used if the goods to be exported are minerals requiring an assay.
28. COMMODITY CLASSIFICATION (MANDATORY)
Input the classification code for the goods as specified in the AHECC manual. For details on the determination of the correct statistical item for a commodity, refer to Classifying goods to the AHECC (paragraphs 9 to 17). If you experience difficulty in determining a classification, please contact the Customs and Border Protection AHECC Advisory Service by email firstname.lastname@example.org or the Customs Information Centre on 1300 363 263.
The same AHECC may be input more than once. There is no need to consolidate lines with the same AHECC. Goods with the same AHECC but different export scheme or state of origin codes may be listed on up to 99 lines, where necessary.
29. GOODS DESCRIPTION (MANDATORY)
An accurate description of the goods must be given in plain English.
30. GOODS ORIGIN CODE (MANDATORY)
The code used to identify the Australian (or foreign) state of origin of goods, as listed below:
The following examples should assist in attributing the correct origin code.
For more information and treatment of more complex situations, please see Australian Customs Notice 2003/70 available on the Customs and Border Protection website <www.customs.gov.au>.
NOTE: If goods are excisable product, the origin should always be shown as Australian goods.
31. GOODS ORIGIN COUNTRY CODE (MANDATORY IF GOODS ORIGIN CODE IS “YY–FO”)
Enter the ISO3166–1 two–letter code for the country where the goods were manufactured. For a list of the codes refer to AHECC Summary of Classification, Codes and Abbreviations, 1.5 Countries.
The field requiring the identification of a foreign country code for export goods has been included on an export declaration to meet the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Rules of Origin requirements. Information is available at www.wto.org.
The country code known to be, or most likely to be the origin of the goods should be input. Information provided should not be misleading.
Where the goods are made up of several components from various foreign sources, the country code for the place where the goods were manufactured (that is, the place where the goods were formed through a process, or a series of processes, that changed the nature, commercial character and identity of its components) should be nominated. If the goods were not manufactured (for example, the goods are merely a collection of unassembled components), the country code for the place where the majority of the components were manufactured should be nominated.
32. TEMPORARY IMPORT NO (MANDATORY IF AHECC is 9902.20.xx)
A number identifying the export of goods which are temporarily imported under sections 162 and 162A of the Customs Act 1901. The number is the “Full Import Declaration Number” assigned by Customs and Border Protection to the goods when they arrived in Australia with the intent of being subsequently exported. If the goods are imported using a form B46AA Application for Permission to Take Delivery of Goods Upon Giving a Security or an Understanding for the Payment of Duty, GST and LCT, then the number is the security number shown on the top of that form.
33. NET QUANTITY (MANDATORY)
The net quantity of goods is described in terms of the units prescribed in the AHECC, (e.g. KG, T, NO). If the unit prescribed by the AHECC is ‘NR’, the quantity details are not required, but NR must be shown in the units box. Net quantity should not include the weight of any additional packaging.
34. GROSS WEIGHT (MANDATORY)
The gross weight is, in effect, the shipping weight of the goods. It should include the weight of any immediate packaging but not the weight of the container. Show weight in grams (G), kilograms (KG) or tonnes (T).
35. LINE FOB VALUE
The free on board (FOB) value (or Customs and Border Protection export value) of the goods quoted on this export declaration line, refer to Item 27. Total FOB Value for a definition of FOB. The FOB value should be expressed to the nearest dollar or major currency unit.
36. PERMIT DETAILS (PREFIX/PERMIT NO)
A wide range of goods are prohibited from exportation unless an export permit is obtained from the appropriate agency. Details of export restrictions are contained in various Commonwealth laws and are outlined in the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service Manual Volume 12. Further advice can be obtained from your legal adviser, Customs Broker, etc. or Customs and Border Protection. Input the permit number given by the relevant permit issuing authority. Each permit issuing authority has its own permit prefix. The correct prefix must be included for all permits.
ASSAY DETAILS (ELEMENT/CONCENTRATION/UNIT) – ON EXPORT DECLARATION SUPPLEMENTARY FORM
35 A chemical test to determine the content of a particular element. Only input details if goods are minerals requiring an assay.
DECLARATION (DOCUMENTARY DECLARATION ONLY)
36 This is a declaration by the person responsible for the export declaration, that the details reported are an accurate representation of the goods exported in this consignment.
37 Before signing, please ensure that all goods included in the consignment have been reported and that the export declaration has been completed accurately.
38 The full name of the person making the declaration and the date and place of issue should be included on the export declaration. The usual signature of that person is required.
EXPORT DECLARATION FORM (B957) and
EXPORT DECLARATION SUPPLEMENTARY FORM (B957a)
39 The above forms are available in the following pdfs:
REPORTING OF EXPORT GOODS BY CARGO TERMINAL OPERATORS
40 Goods must not be delivered to a wharf or airport for export unless the goods have been entered for export and an authority to deal with the goods is in force. This does not apply if the goods are exempt from the requirement to be entered, or where the wharf or airport operator is responsible for the entry of the goods.
41 If the goods for export are consolidated, then the consolidator must report a submanifest to Customs and Border Protection.
42 For goods listed below, the wharf or airport must lodge a CTO receival notice quoting the relevant authority to deal or exemption. If no valid authority to deal is in force, the wharf or airport will be advised by Customs and Border Protection that the goods may not be loaded on board a ship or aircraft for export. It is the exporter’s responsibility to ensure that goods for export have a valid authority to deal before the goods are delivered to the wharf or airport.
43 Goods that must be reported by the cargo terminal operator on arrival at the wharf or airport are as follows:
REPORTING “PRESCRIBED WAREHOUSE GOODS”
44 Goods that are listed in Schedule 1AAA of the Customs Regulations 1958 that are released from a warehouse for export are known as “prescribed warehouse goods” and are subject to additional reporting requirements.
45 Prescribed warehouse goods are either tobacco products or alcoholic spirits.
SCHEDULE 1AAA OF THE CUSTOMS REGULATIONS – “PRESCRIBED WAREHOUSE GOODS”
46 Goods classified to the following AHECC codes are prescribed warehouse goods if exported from a warehouse:
Certain undenatured ethyl alcohol of an alcoholic strength by volume of less than 80% vol; spirits, liqueurs and other spirituous beverages
Unmanufactured tobacco and tobacco refuse
Cigars, cheroots, cigarillos and cigarettes, of tobacco or of tobacco substitutes
Other manufactured tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes, `homogenised' or `reconstituted' tobacco and tobacco extracts and essences
CONFIDENTIALITY OF TRADE STATISTICS
47 Export and import statistics are compiled by the ABS using information provided by exporters, importers and their agents to Customs and Border Protection. Aggregate export and import statistics are available in a great deal of detail but not all possible cross–classifications are released. Restrictions are placed on the release of statistics where the data for an individual or an organisation are identifiable and that entity has requested that the data be suppressed. In practice, the way that a restriction is achieved is to conceal the sensitive data by combining it with other data.
48 If requested, the ABS must assess the confidentiality status of the reported data. If it is determined that the owner of the goods is entitled to have the data confidentialised the ABS must apply a publication restriction, regardless of the reason for which confidentiality may be sought. ABS legislation does not allow any discretion to reject an application for confidentiality if it can be demonstrated that dissemination of the information would likely enable the identification of a particular person or organisation. In applying publication restrictions the ABS seeks to minimise the impact of the confidentialisation on other series.
49 If you are concerned about the possible disclosure of your trade data, please contact the ABS and your concerns will be investigated. If appropriate, restrictions will be placed upon the release of these statistics, refer to Contact Officers (at the end of these explanatory notes), for address details.
50 For further information regarding confidentiality refer to Information Paper: International Merchandise Trade Statistics, Australia, Data Confidentiality, 1999 (cat. no. 5487.0), or visit the International Trade Topics @ a Glance, which provides links to all information about international merchandise trade statistics on the ABS website (www.abs.gov.au, select Topics @ a Glance>Economy>Foreign Trade).
REQUESTS FOR CHANGES TO STATISTICAL CODES
51 The ABS has responsibility for the maintenance of all aspects of the final two AHECC digits, which comprise the statistical code component of an AHECC. This maintenance role includes updating the classifications by evaluating requests from users of international trade statistics for additions or changes to statistical detail. It should be noted, however, that the ABS cannot make any changes to the 6–digit HS codes for exports, as this level of the classification is determined by the WCO.
52 In attempting to satisfy the statistical needs of a wide range of users, the ABS strives to keep the classification comprehensive, detailed and current. At the same time, however, it is necessary to limit the size and complexity of the classification in order to minimise reporting problems for exporters or their agents when completing customs documentation and to ensure accurate reporting. Additionally, account must be taken of the ongoing costs to the ABS associated with editing and processing the data and in maintaining the classifications.
53 The ABS receives many requests for the creation of new statistical codes. Such requests will only be considered where they are deemed to be in the interests of the industry concerned, as well as in the public interest. Requests of a purely market research nature will not be considered. Each request must, therefore, have the written support of a relevant government department, authority or industry association. Statements of support from government agencies or industry associations should include the reasons for that support and, in the latter case, a listing of the current members of the particular association.
54 In addition, higher priority is afforded to requests for changes which will enable government policy to be formulated, administered or monitored.
55 Requests to correct the classification will not require industry or government support where the request is aimed at:
56 The ABS applies a two phase approach to reviewing requests for changes to statistical codes. This approach is called classification feasibility studies, which are cost recovered. An initial review is undertaken and, if justified, a more detailed review. A flat charge applies for the initial study. This initial study allows the ABS to identify any potential problems (e.g. confidentiality restrictions) early in the process, and thus may save the client the cost of a detailed feasibility study.
57 The price charged for a detailed study will depend on the number of commodity items to be investigated and the overall complexity of the changes requested. The written quote provided to each client will be based on the estimated hours and associated computing costs required to complete their particular review and to implement, where applicable, its findings.
58 Changes are normally made to the AHECC on 1 January and 1 July of each year. Deadlines for proposals are the preceding 1 October and 1 March respectively. The ABS reserves the right to withdraw statistical code splits which have proved unworkable.
AVAILABILITY OF TRADE STATISTICS
59 Information lodged by exporters, importers and their agents, with Customs and Border Protection, is used by the ABS in compiling and publishing export and import statistics. These statistics are used to monitor and assess market share and trading patterns. Australian and overseas investors use export and import statistics to conduct market research and identify business opportunities.
60 The ABS can provide detailed statistical information on exports and imports of commodities. An example of the level of detail available for export or import commodities includes, by:
61 ABS consultants can help exporters and importers choose the statistics which best meet their information needs.
62 For further information on the availability of trade statistics, please contact the ABS. Refer to Contact Officers section (below), or visit the International Trade Topics @ a Glance page, which provides links to all information about international merchandise trade statistics on the ABS website (www.abs.gov.au, select Topics @ a Glance>Economy>Foreign Trade).
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